Psychology for Lawyers

michelle michaud
talks about her work and her life as a lawyer


Mia, the lawyer portrayed In Treatment (HBO), in a meeting at her law office with her former therapist engages in a conversation with the psychotherapist, Dr. Paul Weston, that serves as the predicate for our look at still another lawyer, Michelle Michaud, and videos in which she talks about her work and her life as a lawyer. In Mia's meeting with Dr. Weston, Dr. Weston comments on Mia's readily apparent success, telling her, "look at you, where you are now." Mia responds: "I'm a success because I work in a tall building . . . . Yea, I made it through law school all the way to the top floor and the beautiful views, and the windows that don't open, and the windows that don't open and the f--king jackhammers that never stop. And you know what I do when I win a case, one of those hopeless ones only I would take, I go out and get drunk with my gay secretary and then I stumble home to my one bedrom condo and I pray I can fall asleep." Dr. Weston: [nods] "[In making sure that you were assigned my case] Were you trying to show me how well you have done and how sad you are?" In Treatment (Season 2, Dk. 1, Episode 1) (20:30 mins. to 21:58 mins. of the DVD)


"The Cornucopia of Julia K.," in Lowell B. Komie, The Legal Fiction of Lowell B. Komie (Chicago: Swordfish/Chicago, 2005) [25 Legal Stud. F. 71 (2001)] [online text]

Brenda Berger, Prisoners of Liberation: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Disenchantment and Burnout Among Career Women Lawyers, 56 (5) J. Clinical Psychology/In Session: Psychotherapy in Practice 665 (2000)

Class Video

Class Viewing 1: Changing Lawyers's Understanding of Dispute Resolution [2:22 mins.] [Len Riskin] [lawyer unhappiness related to our adversarial practices; commenting on the "standard philosophical map" that dominates our lives as lawyers]

Class Viewing 2: Michelle Michaud [8:21 mins.] Pt2 [8:58 mins.] Pt3 [6:28 mins.] Pt4 [8:34 mins.] Pt5 [7:13 mins.] [total viewing time: approx. 42 mins.]

Videos (Reference)(Len Riskin)

Len Riskin Talks about the Value of Meditation for Lawyers
[9:18 mins.] Pt2 [9:41 mins.]

Videos (Reference)(Michelle Michaud)

Michelle Michaud on Lawyers As Agents of Evolutionary Change
[3:55 mins.]

Lawyers As Peacemakers
[5:14 mins.]

Reference (Rethinking Adversarial Law) (Gary Friedman)

A Lawyer's Search
[9:58 mins.] [Gary Friedman] Pt2 [9:32 mins.] Pt3 [8:59 mins.] Pt4 [9:46 mins.]

Gary Friedman and Mediation
[4:05 mins.]

Introducing Gary Friedman
[4:04 mins.]

Self-Reflection for Conflict Professionals
[15:14 mins.] ["Your inner life is a powerful tool . . ."]

Positive Neutrality Under Fire
[10:55 mins.]

Saving The Last Dance
[6:15 mins.]

Videos (Reference)

Introducing Catherine Conner
[3:33 mins.] [a lawyer talking about collaborative law]

Helping Lawyers Live Epic Lives
[2:32 mins.]

Failure and the Search for Passion
[15:00 mins.] [TED Talk]

On Quitting
[13:46 mins.] [Gracye Cheng, a former lawyer, shares her advice on quitting; she's a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College]

References (Articles)

Martin E.P. Seligman, Paul R. Verkuil & Terry H. Kang, Countering Lawyer Unhappiness: Pessimism, Decision Latitude and the Zero-Sum Dilemma [online text]

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